From East or West: Take the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Bedford, Exit 146. Go north on I-99 to Exit 7. Follow PA 869 west to Pavia, then follow signs through Pavia to the park.
5,874 acre, Blue Knob State Park, named for the majestic dome-shaped mountain, sits at an elevation of 3,146 feet above sea level. It is the second highest mountain in Pennsylvania and because of the elevation, the air temperatures here are several degrees cooler than the surrounding cities. This is the place to experience mountain biking in a wilderness setting. Pedal quietly and enjoy the serenity and solitude of the mountains and perhaps get a glimpse of the wildlife that call this park home. Black bear, deer, turkey, grouse, coyote and fox are some denizens you may spot.
The Park offers 20+ miles of multi-use trails, a swimming pool, picnic areas and camping facilities. Summer programs are conducted on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Buck Hill Amphitheater and Sunday afternoons in the park day use areas, unless otherwise posted.
The Mountain Blue Grass Festival is an annual special event usually takes place the second weekend in June. There is music, educational programs, classic cars, camping, food and fun.
Blue Knob State Park Trails:
There are really two distict riding areas; Blue Knob State Park and The Blue Knob Ski Resort Area. These two areas interconnect and offer some of the most rugged terrain for off-road bicycling in the Southern Allegheny region. For more detailed information about the park and trail advice, stop by the Mountain Bike Center at the top of the ski hill and talk to the guy who runs the place.
Chappell’s Field Trail: 2.5 miles/Saw Mill Trail: 3.25 miles (easy)
The Chappell Field loop trail is a good challenge for the beginner rider. It is basically a smooth, cruising trail with little gradient change. The trail takes you along the back end of Chappell's Field, through the wildlife management area. After it crosses the Blue Knob Park Road it travels around the bottom loop of the campground and returns to the starting point through a forested section. You can opt to connect to the Saw Mill Trail to extend your ride for an additional 3.25 miles.
Three Springs Trail: 2 miles (moderate)
This wide, mountain forest trail travels on service roads and waterlines. Offers spectacular views of the lowlands from a 2,000 foot vantage point. The trail is also open to horseback riding. Please be considerate of other trail users.
Crist Ridge Trail: 1.9 miles (moderate, advanced)
Rock ‘N’ Ridge Trail: 2.8 miles (moderate, advanced)
Ridge and Valley Trail. Begin your mountain bike ride at the electric substation below the ski slope. From there the trail extends along the eastern slope of the mountain to the Willow Springs Picnic Area. The trail requires a long steady uphill climb which finally peaks as you near the mountain slopes. It returns along the high ground which connects the ridge top east of the pool complex.
Mountain View Trail: 5 miles (moderate/advanced)
This trail is a wilderness ride. Wet and very rocky and will test your technical skills.
Beginning a short distance from the electric substation on Three Springs Trail, it follows the 0.9 mile "Look Out Trail " loop, crosses the Three Springs Trail again, then descends along Beaverdam Creek before traversing the eastern slope of the mountain to the Willow Springs Picnic Area. From there it travels north along an old waterline to Deep Hollow Run and climbs the mountain to the trailhead. Access points to different sections of the trail are limited.
Note: Mountain View Trail from the Willow Springs Day-Use Area to its juncture with Three Springs Trail is closed to mountain biking. This trail should not be used during inclement weather because fog is dense due to the higher elevation.
A tornado once went through this park in the Gates Ridge area.
For more information:
Blue Knob State Park
Phone: (814) 276-3576